Crooked Run Valley
The following Bluebird Project information is derived from the Vir-
ginia Outdoors website article, Virginia Master Naturalists Adopt Blue-
bird Trail at Sky Meadows State Park. It was written by Virginia Master
Naturalist Margaret Wester, and has been edited and abridged.
Virginia Master Naturalists Adopt Bluebird Trail at Sky Meadows
The Shenandoah Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists has created a
new bluebird trail at Sky Meadows State Park. It consists of 69 bluebird
nest boxes divided into 5 trail sections consisting of 12 to 20 boxes for
In the summer of 2010, Timothy Skinner, Park Manager at Sky Meadows, requested that our chapter rejuvenate the existing trail. Through extensive
research and planning, advice from other trail managers and previous ex-
perience, our chapter devised a plan that evolved to the present new trail,
taking into consideration the parameters of the State Park, the Virginia
Bluebird Society (VBS) and Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
In several workshop sessions, VMN volunteers constructed 40 new blue-
bird boxes (plus 9 donated boxes), Noel guards and snake guards funded
by the state park based on VBS plans. After the project started, a scout
leader approached us for consideration of a project by a scout to earn his
Eagle badge. The scout, Anthony Fala, proposed to build and install an
additional 20 nest boxes. The park agreed to extend the area for installing
nest boxes in a new location. Anthony applied for and received funding
from VBS for the 20 nest boxes.
Upon surveying the site and coordinating with the park, survey flags were
set for each nest box location for approval by the park before installation.
VMN volunteers and the scout with his team were able to construct and
install all 69 boxes complete with guards before the first monitoring date
of the season.
There are two sections of the trail (Tree Swallow Lane and Bluebird Mead-
ow) that have paired boxes following the plan of the original trail on the
west side of the park in hopes of attracting eastern bluebirds and tree swal-
lows together. The three additional new trail sections in the park are single
spaced (300 feet apart) in exceptionally good habitat for bluebirds. They
are on the Gap Run and Rolling Meadows/Hayfield hiking trails along
creeks with open meadows and scattered trees or tree lines.